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June 18th, 2012
12:27 PM ET

Rep. Farenthold (R-Texas) says we need a public debate on immigration, argues 16-year-old immigrants 'had say' in crossing the border

On Friday, President Obama signed an executive order to allow some young immigrants to stay in the U.S. without the threat of deportation. The policy is intended for illegal immigrants under the age of 30, who came to the U.S. when they were 16 years old or younger. They have to have lived here for at least five years without any criminal record. Those who are currently in school, have graduated high school, or are enrolled in the military can defer their deportation for two years.

This move has many Republicans in Congress up in arms. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), from a state with the second-highest illegal immigration rate in the country, joins Soledad this morning on "Starting Point" to explain why he's not in favor of President Obama's immigration move.

"I do think it is problem that needs to be dealt with," Rep. Farenthold says. "But there's a broad immigration problem that needs to be dealt with in public debate. We need to be talking about things like the DREAM Act, we need to also be talking about e-verify, we also need to be talking about border security. You get all of those together, you've got enough momentum, you might be able to come up with a comprehensive immigration reform. But if you pick them off one at a time and do it not through Congress. but through executive order, you're bypassing the way our founding fathers intended it to work."

Rep. Farenthold also says allowing older children of immigrants to stay in the U.S. is akin to amnesty, and that teen immigrants could have had a conversation with their parents before coming to the United States.

"They’re certainly in a position to have a conversation with their parents about it,” he says. He later adds, "Believe me, my sixteen year old daughter’s given me some input on...pretty much everything the family wants to do.”

While addressing the American people on Friday, President Obama "this is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It's not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure."

Watch Rep. Farenthold's exchange with Soledad on "Starting Point" in the video below.

Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Tomjerry101

    Aren't there numerous laws on the books that this breaks? What does circumventing laws passed by congress make Obama?

    June 18, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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